Niti Aayog points out faults of HRD Ministry in School Education sector

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vision to improve the quality of education and make it more meaningful. So in the month of July, the PMO office made many shuffling and appointed Prakash Javadekar as Union HRD Minister who was replaced by Smriti Irani after her controversial two-year tenure.

Months after the appointment of new HRD minister, in a survey conducted by Niti Aayog, it was found not much has changed, especially in the department of school education and the HRD Ministry is lagging behind on several deliverables. It was also found that ministry is either running behind schedule or hasn’t even started on 15 of the 32 actionable points for school education. Moreover, only three on the to-do list have been completed, while 22 actionable points are still work in progress.

If a comparison is made with the department of higher education, then it has finally past its tussles with the PMO – it has done much better. The department has completed two of the five on its to-do list and has shown work in progress on one count.

The much-touted TSR Subramanian report — appointed during the tenure of the then HRD minister Smriti Irani for making suggestions for the new national education policy — is likely to be put on a backburner. It is learned that the finalization of the new national education policy could be delayed by several months as Javadekar is expected to hold further consultations with several stakeholders, including members of Parliament, educational institutes, academia and even the Sangh affiliates for further enhancement of the draft.

From the sources, it has been revealed that implementation of a new education policy was one of the major issues that was being pushed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself as the NDA government tries to leave its imprint on the important education sector of the country.

The highlights of the review meeting held on Friday where Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant was also present are enlisted below:

  • The National Policy on Education should be converted to a measurable action plan, instead of a broad sweeping document that is difficult to implement.
  • In the meeting, it was decided that focus should be on improving learning levels, clearly outlined and measurable action plans and outcome-based ideas.
  • Poor action on various ‘actionable steps’ like framing of minimum grade-wise learning goals for classes 1 to 8 that are to be displayed on school boards, expediting decision on the much-debated ‘no-detention policy’ and a number of specifics on teachers’ education.
  • As per the status report, it was found that the department of school education has missed the deadline on areas like student evaluation of teachers, technology-enabled service training of teachers, examining possibilities of an all-India teacher education service, technology-backed remedial training for untrained teachers and training of headmasters and so on.

The highlights of the work done so far do not END here, there are any other action points for the department of school education which remains work-in-progress even though they are close to deadlines.

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